Zealots and Bigots, WTF!

Read | Short Strike

An Open Daydream To My Friend

by Ed Bartel | Updated: 07.26.2011 |

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It’s not you it’s me.

Sometimes when we are on the river, I would prefer it if you were a woman.

As I stand here watching you fight the fish you just snagged out of the hole you jumped me to get to... I have to wonder how many times we have fished together? How many times have we shared a skunk on a stretch of water? Relentlessly casting, changing flies, re-presenting and changing up again.

 

How many trips have there been, the gazetteer in our laps looking for high ground to camp and blue lines to plunder. The quiet dread of having to pack in a cooler full of beer in the dark because we got a late start on the 4 hour drive to fishy water.

 

Or how many times have we been overcome by our passion to get on the road, like 10 year olds who can’t sleep before Christmas. Our anticipation to leave and get on the water finding us in separate rooms at your house wondering if the other one was up. Maybe we could leave early this time? Would we wake up the kids and your wife?

 

How many times we shared the exhaustion after clamoring up the bank, another epic day in the books when even a poor cast landed us a fish. Quietly relieved that some days can be easy out here. Then the waning adrenaline drawing out a thousand mile stare across the river, the realization we have been challenging the current all day.

 

And then the obsessive camp fire, the beer, smoke, and telling tales. Decompressing from the weeks of the daily grind that keep us from fishing everyday.

 

It’s been a long time and there have been too many of those to count. I’m thankful for every one of them. They keep me going in the real world, they provide the "tacklin’ fuel" that gets me up pilgrims path. They are golden and they are invaluable.

 

But they are tainted, tainted with a secret desire that overshadows even the most righteous and sacred times we have shared. A secret I have never shared with you.

 

I wish you were a woman. That's right, some outdoorsy beauty, maybe 5 years younger and a little taller.

 

I’ve spent a lifetime around men that espoused the sacred moments between men. Honestly, I have always scratched my head wondering what male bonding really is and facing with dread, each trip that this time I might actually find out.

 

Every time we have been fishing I have thought FUCK I REALLY WISH YOU WERE A WOMAN! Let’s face it, chicks that camp and fish are the heat. All that stuff about which I wax rhapsodically is solid but if you were a woman, I think this whole outdoor thing gets exponentially better.

 

Think about it, you’d smell better and I have to hope that the dinner conversation would be a richer experience and hopefully less flatulent. Additionally, I would probably be catching that fish right now.

 

Look, don’t get me wrong you are a brilliant man with an amazing sense of humor, I am lucky to have shared these trips. I have learned so much from you. Really it’s not you it’s me.

 

Your walking back with that shit eating grin on your face that says all I need to know about my fish you just caught and I wonder what you would say if you could hear me thinking. You would be spurned but don’t come back with those hurt feelings, I know you have thought it too.

 

Coming back around to reality, I hear you asking, "Dude did you just call me Amy?"

 

Ed Bartel is a daydreaming and now somewhat bitter fishing curmudgeon that has heard one too many tales and constantly wonders out loud why he hasn't tried to teach his wife how to fly fish. Because you know... he wishes you were a woman.